Exploring the French Riviera by Train: A Scenic Journey Through Coastal Elegance

The French Riviera, or Côte d'Azur, is a glamorous stretch of Mediterranean coastline in southeastern France, famed for its stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant cultural scene. Exploring this region by train is not only convenient but also offers breathtaking views of the azure sea, charming towns, and lush landscapes. Here's a guide to discovering the French Riviera by train, including key cities to visit and must-see attractions.

Why Travel by Train?

Traveling by train along the French Riviera is an efficient and scenic way to experience the region. The well-connected rail network allows you to hop from one picturesque town to another with ease. Trains run frequently, are punctual, and offer comfortable seating, making your journey as pleasant as the destinations themselves. Plus, you avoid the hassle of traffic and parking, and the coastal train route provides some of the most beautiful views in Europe.

Key Cities and Attractions

1. Nice


  • Promenade des Anglais: Stroll along this famous seafront promenade lined with palm trees and historic hotels.
  • Vieux Nice (Old Town): Wander through narrow, winding streets filled with vibrant markets, shops, and cafes.
  • Colline du Château (Castle Hill): Climb up for panoramic views of the city and coastline.

Travel Tip: Nice is a major hub on the French Riviera's train line, making it an ideal starting point.

2. Cannes


  • La Croisette: Walk along this glamorous boulevard lined with luxury boutiques and palatial hotels.
  • Palais des Festivals: Visit the site of the famous Cannes Film Festival and stroll along the star-studded walkway.
  • Le Suquet: Explore the historic old quarter with its cobbled streets and charming eateries.

Travel Tip: Trains from Nice to Cannes run frequently, and the journey takes about 30 minutes.

3. Antibes


  • Picasso Museum: Discover a collection of artworks by Pablo Picasso in the Château Grimaldi.
  • Marineland: A fun and educational experience, especially if you're traveling with children.
  • Cap d'Antibes: Enjoy a scenic walk or drive along this beautiful peninsula.

Travel Tip: Antibes is a quick 20-minute train ride from Nice, offering a perfect day trip option.

4. Monaco


  • Monte Carlo Casino: Experience the opulence of this world-famous casino.
  • Prince's Palace: Visit the official residence of the Prince of Monaco, located on the Rock of Monaco.
  • Oceanographic Museum: Explore this impressive museum dedicated to marine science.

Travel Tip: The train journey from Nice to Monaco takes around 20 minutes, providing stunning coastal views along the way.

5. Menton


  • Jardin Serre de la Madone: Wander through these serene and beautiful gardens.
  • Basilica of Saint Michael the Archangel: Marvel at the baroque architecture of this historic church.
  • Lemon Festival: If visiting in February, don't miss this unique festival celebrating the city's famous citrus fruits.

Travel Tip: Menton is the last major town before the Italian border, about 40 minutes by train from Nice.

Practical Tips for Train Travel

  • Tickets: Purchase tickets in advance from travel advisor
  • Schedules: Check the SNCF website or app for train schedules and updates.
  • Comfort: Opt for first-class tickets for more spacious seating and a quieter atmosphere.
  • Luggage: Store your luggage in designated areas on the train for a hassle-free journey.


Traveling the French Riviera by train is a delightful and efficient way to explore this stunning region. From the vibrant streets of Nice to the glamorous allure of Cannes, the artistic charm of Antibes, the luxurious splendor of Monaco, and the quaint beauty of Menton, each destination offers its own unique attractions. The convenience of the train network allows you to sit back, relax, and soak in the mesmerizing Mediterranean views, making your trip an unforgettable experience.